tv The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell MSNBC January 7, 2015 10:00pm-11:01pm PST
ncois hollande has called for a national day of mourning tomorrow. for the 12 people who were killed in this morning's attacks. our coverage continues now with "the last word" with lawrence o'donnell. good evening, lawrence. >> thank you, rachel. we're going to continue our live coverage of the manhunt in france where one us fect is in custody and two are still at large. >> joous moments ago, masked men opened fire at a controversial satirical newspaper in france. >> killing at least a dozen people in the news room. >> one of them stayed in the car, the other two entered the building and began firing. k. >> a series of gunshots were heard, at least 30 rounds by some estimates. >> killing editor his bodyguard and eight others. >> "charlie hebdo" has been very, very satirical in their approach to religion. >> with a long history and controversial history. >> the offices have been fire bombed several years ago because of satirical issues it featured,
the muslim prophet mo ham made. >> the french president francois hollande said nobody can believe they can act like this and get away with it. >> it is 4:00 a.m. in france and an intense manhunt is under way at this hour for the terrorists who killed 12 people and injured 11 at the paris headquarters of the french satire mgz "charlie hebdo" or charlie weekly. the attackers headed east right after the attack and this is the latest video from the scene of a police operation under way in
police said the youngest suspect, an 1-year-old hamid moraud has turned himself in and they're still searching for two brothers. sayed kuatchi and sharif kuatchi in their early 30s. they wore masks and carried assault rifles. the attacks lasted less than ten minutes. people climbed on to the roofs of buildings to make sure they were getting away from the shooting down below. [ gun firing ] >> witnesses say they yelled allah akbar during the attack. a witness caught that scene on video. [ gun fire ]
>> that completely blurred figure you saw on the screen was the police officer being shot. the people who decide what you are allowed to see on american tell advice have decided you television advice have decided you should not be able to see that police officer clearly. i don't know how those decisions are made. a witness who encountered the escaping gunman says they yelled, you can tell the media that it's al qaeda in yemen. joining me now from paris is nbc news foreign correspondent bill neely. what is the latest there? >> reporter: the ironic thing is the policeman who was shot at point blank range was a french muslim policeman. what's absolutely clear tonight is the french police know
exactly who they're looking for. they have released in the last couple of hours photographs of those two brothers, the kouachi brothers and they have said these men are armed and extremely dangerous and they're asking the french public for their help. we know one was jailed for terrorist offenses ten years ago. jailed for 18 months. and we think the other brother was in syria and returned in august of last year having done something in syria, we don't know what. but from the look of those videos, these are two gunmen who are quite at ease with weapons, the way they hold the weapons. if you saw one of the stills, there were 15 gunshots in very, very close proximity to one another, as if the person doing the firing had been very steady. they do things very calmly. and this is what eyewitnesses report, that these were two calm, almost trained professional, if you like, gunmen. but of course, to say professional of a horror like this is not quite right.
and police have also issued now the names of all of the victims. the people who are in that editorial meeting were of a certain age. one of the cartoonists was 80 years old. i have one of his books on my bookshelves at home. he is a very, very well known political cartoonist .. another was 78. and he was given france's highest award, highest civilian honor. so these were very well respected, very well known men and women who were killed in the most brutal fashion. but it does not seem that the french police know exactly who they're hunting. the manhunt very much on. >> what do they know about how long the suspects have lived in france? were they born in france?
>> it appears they were. they seem to be of french algerian extraction, but they were born in paris, at least that's what we hear from some anti-terrorism experts. the french police have not given details biographies. also remember, reports that one of them have returned last year from syria. french police estimate that around 300 french nationals are in either syria or iraq at the moment fighting for isis. so this is a big problem in france, in germany. and of course, these suspects would be anywhere at the moment. they were heading north of here at speed along motorways. they could be in belgium by now. it's not just a french issue. this is a northern european manhunt. >> bill neely, thank you for staying late and joining us on this incredible day. thank you very much. joining me now from washington s nbc news justice correspondent pete williams. what are we learning in washington from the fbi and from the defense and intelligence
sources who are looking at this? >> well, a couple of things. number one is as soon as the french authorities got the names the u.s. was going back and looking to see if there was any possible connection between this attack and people in the u.s. and they say tonight, they haven't found any, that they've been looking at their databases and don't see at this point any contact between the suspects in france and people in the u.s., that's thing one. thing two is whenever you have an event like this, the intelligence community takes the amount of material it's been collected, they sort of hit the pause button and look back before the event to see if they can find things that in retrospect would indicate some kind of warning for this attack. and they say that they cannot. so it's an all hands-on deck affair to try to help the french to make sure there are no other attacks in the offing. a couple of other points here, there's been a decision not to raise the terror threat level in the u.s. over the year, that has sort of
as is typical when you have rapidly unfolding events, you get a lot of contradictory information. it's still not entirely clear what the french authorities believe these three people did. it seems clear the two older ones were involved in the shootings, but what's the role of the third suspect. at one point today to indicate the confusion here, at one point, one french official said there had been an arrest and that was retracted. earlier tonight, two senior u.s. counterterrorism officials told nbc news that one of the suspects had been killed and the two were in custody. but now they say the information that was the basis of that account couldn't be confirmed. and from what we know now, that appears to be wrong. it's just been a day like that. >> pete williams, thank you very much for staying with us. thank you, pete. >> you bet. >> tonight, france raised its terror alert to the highest level. the sign yor terrorist able list at flash point global partners and jim cavanaugh. what's your reading of the evidence so far? >> there has been a number of confusing details emerging, whether from french authorities or american counterterrorism officials. they indicated that at some point, one of the attackers was killed. at another point, that he was
arrested. a third point that he handed himself in. so there's a lot of speculation. but we know that based on all the details that have come out, the two individuals, the two brothers remain at large. and that one of them might have travelled to syria last year and that he might have returned unnoticed. >> one thing they said toby standers is tell the press that it's al qaeda in yemen. >> well, reportedly, right, because we cannot completely ascertain that's exactly what's said. but let's retract back to march of 2013 when they had a hit list. and one of the names on that hit list was -- >> i think we have this will hit list. there it is.
one of the names on there -- >> the editor of the newspaper. >> along with people they eave been after for years. >> they've been featured in inspire magazine's first issue that included the names of other cartoonists who also depicted profess mohammed. >> jim cavanaugh, what do you make of what you've seen on video about the way they handled these weapons, the weapons they were using. how would you obtain weapons like that in paris? >> i think it would be a little bit difficult to get them just normally in paris. the l the tactical vests that one of the actors was wearing. i think the way they acted looked to me like one or both had been in a conflict area. they carried these rifles comfortably. not highly trained military like of a western nation. they weren't that kind of people. they didn't move like that.
but they moved as people that had been in conflict before. they weren't scared away by police officers who came in bicycles or vehicles. they knew they were going to win that fight with rifles. but they're bumbling as well. they went to the wrong door. the one guy lost his shoe. you know, highly trained military operatives would tie their shoes. they would have the right door. you know, they -- >> jim, as you're saying that, we just saw the video of one having to stop and pick up his shoe as he's getting in the car. >> right, right. >> jim, we also have a report indicating that in that black car that we're seeing in the video, one of them left an id by mistake. and that's part of how he got tracked down. >> right, exactly. you know, shades of the pakistani terrorist in times square who bumbled the bomb. he made this contraption that wouldn't detonate and left hisses in the car. this is where these guys sort of
fit, it looks like, in that -- in the realm of they're not one crazy lone wolf actor like hassan in ft. hood who acts alone, radicalized on the web. and they're not dispatched by core al qaeda like 9/1 1. they're in the middle somewhere. contacts maybe in syria or north africa. maybe a little self-radicalized or contact radicalized. a little wolf back, but they're very, very deadly. >> when i saw this manhunt developing today, the french police are superb at this kind of work. it is very, very hard to escape their chase in france. >> well, yes. the french authorities are actually extremely capable, except that you can't really protect everybody. in any country, really, you can not protect everybody. in the case of the attack in france today, the target was pretty much a soft target. even if there was some security out there, you know, a couple of guards and a couple of policemen cannot prevent heavily armed gunmen --
>> the armed policeman guarding them was the first person killed as they approached. >> exactly. they would high caliber guns that could kill dozens of people in a couple of minutes. what does that tell us, though, about france's gun policy? i think that's a discussion for another time, but it's important to look at how did they obtain their weapons. who provided them? who helped them? you know, going back in their communication trail, how were they able -- did they communicate with people, individuals outside the country? did they indeed travel? did they communicate with commanders of fighters on the ground? >> the fact that they got the location wrong indicates that someone else gave them the location information. it looks like they had maybe never been there before. >> that's a possibility --
>> or maybe just working off the address. >> and not knowing exactly what -- >> thanks for helping analyze this for us tonight. really appreciate it. coming up, president obama responds to today's murders in paris. and one of the brave editors who decided to publish the cartoons that provoked those murders in paris today. i was not expecting to get a ford. we went around the country talking to people who made the switch to ford. it felt nicer than my bmw. good gas mileage...
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that was the france press news room in washington, d.c. today holding the je suis charlie, i am charlie signs. but are you really charlie? can you be charlie? if you do not dare show the cartoons that got 12 people murdered in paris today. that is why those people were executed. cartoons. cartoons that included
depictions of the founder of islam. the killers said we have avenged the prophet. they said that. those were their words. the can i recalls dependent want those cartoons to be seen by anyone, and they are not the only ones. most major news organizations in america will not show those cartoons. some perform the self-censorship right before your eyes by showing a photoof the editor of that magazine holding up the magazine, but then cropping the photo so you can't see what all the fuss was about. you can't see why that man holding that magazine was murdered today. i will not be presumptuous enough to hold up a sign, a card that says je suis charlie and i will not be able to show you the cartoons that got some very brave people killed today. but i will be joined later by one of the brave american
editors who has decided to republish all of those cartoons that led to the murderous madness in paris today. ♪ with the incredible fuel efficiency of 38 miles-per-gallon highway you can feel like royalty in the nissan altima. now, get great offers on the 38 mpg highway nissan altima. nissan innovation that excites.
"charlie hebdo" once said, i would rather die standing than live on my knees. he died standing today for the principle of freedom of expression, he was 47 years old, not married. he had no children, which he cited as one of the reasons he felt free to risk his life making jokes about the founder of islam. two years ago, he told the "l.a. times," i'm more likely to get run over by a bicycle in paris than get assassinated. he also told the "times" if one person is injured or killed, it doesn't mean all of france will be put on its knees. it's not islam attacking france. it's one person attacking another person. that's all. bernard maris, an economist was apparently visiting the magazine office today when he was killed. he was a frequent contributor to the magazine, writing on the name uncle bernard.
he was 68 years old. tonight, french police released the name of the other victims, jaun cabut, a cartoonist who was called one of the giants of the genre. he was 76 years old. bernard verlhac has been drawing cartoon since he was 13 years old. he once said the best cartoons give rise to laughter, thought and set off a certain kind of shame. he was 50 years old. georges wolinski was an 80-year-old cartoonist. in 2011 he said my job is to look for ideas. i spent all my life looking for ideas, like a pig looks for truffles. the "l.a. times" says wolinski's drawing, quote, encompassed a wide range of subjects, but smeshlized in contemporary sexual mores with a focus on women and current affairs. he said i want to be cremated.
i told my wife, you will throw my ashes in the toilet, that way i will see your ass every day. today, his daughter posted this photo of his office. joining me now is the white house correspondent for the french network. i want to mention some of the other names that have just been released by french police. michel renault, he was a guest there. a special protection service, that may have been the person who was guarding the office, who was killed first. and then ahmed maribet, a police officer apparently himself muslim. laura, tell us about this magazine and its place in french
media. >> this is a very special magazine for the french. all the men who worked there are dead today wanted to do journalism and they wanted to do serious journalism, but they also wanted to make people smile about real issues. france is completely traumatized by what happened. it's the journalists which has been killed today, the french people cannot understand why there's so much horror, terrorism strike against journalism. and people really wanted to change the world and will live
in freedom, freedom of the press, freedom of speech, freedom to do whatever you want and say whatever you want. >> laura, we see thousands of people in france today, in paris holding up the sign je suis charlie. was that the feeling? i suspect it wasn't the feeling about the magazine before today. >> it's the feeling that something has changed in france. i know in the united states, you see france as a beautiful country with woman, wine, french, this is completely over. after today, it's more over than ever. france is facing a very difficult crisis about its identity, about terrorism, about very serious issues, about the far right, which is rising, about muslim population which does not have job, which doesn't know how to do. young people who are going to iraq, to syria, and are coming back to france to strike the french society. in the united states, you have 9/11. in france today, a lot of people were saying it was again of 9/11 for the press, but also about freedom -- against freedom and against democracy. >> laura, what is your guess about what will be happenlinging in france over the next couple of weeks in terms of a political reaction and a societal reaction
to this? >> i think we're going to see for the moment a lot of people united. again, this is a shock so you're going to see like tonight thousands of french people demonstrating. you know that french love to demonstrate. they're going to stand side by side to show to the world that the french people do not want terrorism in the street. then you're going to have a lot of political questions. francois hollande, the french president does not have good ratings at this moment. it's between 15 and 20%. the far right is rising in the past months. people have a lot of anxiety about the muslim population, as i said before, how they are going to be integrity. and how this country is going to face terrorism. so there's going to be an amount of grief, but how are we going to resolve this crisis? what's going to happen next. and what are we going to do about terrorism and the fight against terrorists. >> laura, i'm very sorry about the attack that your country suffered today.
and thank you very much for joining us tonight. i really appreciate it. >> you're welcome. coming up, how the american press has responded to these murders today. a former editor at "the onion" will join me. and ezra klein is here to talk about what his website has dared to do today. these ally bank ira cds really do sound like a sure thing but i'm a bit skeptical of sure things. why's that? look what daddy's got... ahhhhhhhhhh!!!!! growth you can count on from the bank where no branches equals great rates. thanks. ♪ ♪ [ male announcer ] fedex® has solutions to enable global commerce that can help your company grow steadily and quickly. great job. (mandarin) ♪ ♪ cut it out.
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>> in november 201 1, the charlie hebdo offices were fire bombed after a cartoon of mohammed was on the cover. the editor stood up in front of his blown-up offices holding up the cartoon that provoked the bombing. most major news organizations in this country including this network, the associated press and "the new york times" decided not to show any of the cartoons that led to today's murders. but cartoons can be seen on line at vox.com, huffington post, and bloomberg. it was confirmed to the last word that newspaper will publish a cartoon from charlie hebdo on tomorrow's editorial page. it will be the same cartoon that provoked the bombing in 2011. it depicts mohammed with caps that says 100 lashes if you're not dying of laughter. ezra, you decided to republish all of these cartoons today. how did you decide to do that. >> i would like to tell you it was a big decision and we had a
big meeting. the changes and the risks and the questions, but honestly, i spoke to my editor, i saw the post before it went up. it never occurred to any of us not to publish it. our job is to explain this news story. when you can't explain without showing what this magazine pug lished and wrote about. i talked to my editor to make sure i wasn't missing a link in the chain. but i do want to make one point here. i don't really agree that this was about the cartoons and the way people are saying it is. i don't think this is about the cartoons any more than a rape is about what a victim is wearing or a murder is about the street the person is walking down.
many people see these cartoons, many people do not go on mass killing sprees. this was at the lunacy of the murderers who did it. if they hadn't gone to the offices of this magazine, they might have blown up a bus, they might have gone on a different kind of killing spree. but i think that saying it's about the cartoon is a little bit within their frame. these are people who wanted to kill. you saw that when they shot a policeman point blank. these were killers. i think there was an excuse here about cartoons but i don't believe that was at the root of it. >> well, a motive in gram investigations, the first place the police go is they ask the
people who did it why they did it. they told us very clearly today why they did it. they said they were avenging the prophet. so i get your point, ezra. i don't see why my judgment should override what the killers actually told us. but this was a tough one for you. i'm going to read something you wrote today as a former editor of the onion. 12 people were murdered at the offices of charlie hebdo apparently for doing the very thing the onion does, satire. but they did one thing the onion hasn't done. they actually included images of mohammed. >> yeah. as far as my recollection goes, there hasn't balanced budget a time when "the onion" has run an image of mohammed, especially not for any inflammatory reasons. so i do think that there is a kind of fine line that has to be
walked, which is sensitivity to the cultural preferences of your readership or anybody in the world versus the freedom to publish anything you see fit in a free society. so there -- while the onion has poked a lot of fun and called out radical islam, i don't remember a time when it has run an image of mohammed. not for any particular reason beyond that i just don't recall it having come up. >> did you have any -- i mean, the way you described running these car troons seems very simple and clear. and i get it. but i'm wondering if at vox you considered any sensitivity issues, as joe just referenced about these cartoons. >> i think that's a real issue. i think we should all be
aggressive about affirming people's rights to publish these cartoons. but the thing about free speech is what makes it -- what is so great about it is you don't also have to enforce all of it, right? in free speech, there is an implicit endorsement often by the state. in free speech there isn't. to me, these cartoons had a category change around today, right? a week ago, a month ago, two months ago, i might not have a published them outside of a news story. i think a lot of them arguably were in bad taste. but today they became a news story. and the point about publish them was not to rile leaders up, not to poke fun at a religion or make a political point, it was to try to explain what happened in that incredibly horrible crime in paris.
once they made that transition being what they were to being part of the core of this incredible international terrible story, that made the decision a lot easier. i don't think at that point the act of publishing the message of publishing them was about the message they cared. it was about doing the job we felt we needed to do to explain to readers what was going on. >> it's going to be fascinating, ezra and joe, to see what happens after you at vox have put these up. puffing post has put them up. washington post is going to have one in the print edition of the yup tomorrow. and that's going to be a big moment because every other time in the last several years that anyone has run any kind of image of this kind anywhere in the world, denmark, france, wherever you are, there has always been some kind of protest reaction. including some very, very large protest reactions around the world at different times. and joe, you have to wonder, what's coming next here. >> i don't know what's coming
next. i think ezra put it really well. i was flipping through, as it were, the imnjs on vox today, and it never occurred to me that vox would have been one of the soul publications to print them. the tragedy here is that they're images. they're cartoons, you know? i don't think they have to mean anything. and i think centering so much of our discussion on what is the response going to be, is this okay, is it not, given that there are very real safety concerns illustrated graphically and who blie and violently today, i think by centering our dissuggestion solely on that gives them much more power than they need to have. i think if we allow ourselves to dwell on this fear, then the message that these three killers were trying to send that i don't believe they sent on behalf of islam has a whole is given much
more strength than it deserves. >> well, ezra, to some extent, there's a certain amount of the mission is accomplished. when most news organizes in america absolutely refuse to show these cartoons in anyway. that was the objective of the murderers today. >> you saw different eder tos tweeting and writing about anything that is really real, the fear of safety. how do you balance what you think you need to do for your audience or in your i deemism as a member of free press and your fear of depriving the families of your employees of a father or mother. but i think more people have send these immechanicals today
ever than would have in the absence of this act. and i think there's been an encouraging affirmation of a free press here. and i hope internationally. >> thank you very much for joining us tonight. >> coming up, we will go back to france for a live report on the manhunt that is under way right now. your eyes really are unique. in fact, they depend on a unique set of nutrients. that's why there's ocuvite to help protect your eye health. as you age your eyes can lose vital nutrients.
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fast. relief doesn't get any better than this. advil. this is about freedom of speech and freedom of the press. but one thing that i'm very confident about is the values we share with the french people. a universal people in free expression that can't be silence with senseless violence. >> joining me now is steve clemens, and msnbc contributor,
steve the john kerry and the president gave these kind of pro forma statements. what's going on backstage in washington, particularly now at the nsa. this is when those big silos of data, communication data, including french communication data that edward snowden revealed they're collecting could be valuable to the french pop i think you nailed it, lawrence. i can guarantee you behind the scenes, we are looking at every bit of associational intelligence that we can find on those that have been identified as the alleged killers in this. looking for every relationship
they have, every phone call they've made, what they spent money on, where they've traveled to. and putting a map together of the digital profile of these individuals. i'm sure we're working with them. i mentioned when the minister of flans was here, he talked about france's concerns that they were seeing increased connections and efforts between different fragmented groups in africa and in europe to try to connect with isis. so that was an example of the kind of sharing that was already going on government to government. but i'm sure that we're doing the kinds of things you nailed in your comment. >> stooe, i suspect at the end of this story, we may never know
just how much of an contribution is made by american intelligence, if any, to solving this or bringing more details to how it all happened. >> well, i think, you know, the character of the u.s. intelligence establishment in most cases is to stay beneath the surface, behind the scenes and no to disclose information publicly because it compromises perhaps mean, methods and sometimes signals to other party what we can know. it was highly unusual, frans, when we identified north korea as a corporate in the hacking of zone sony. that almost never happens. you're right, you don't want to disclose too easily to others out there. you want to have them continue to engage in the patterns of communication that they've gone. >> thank you very much for joining us tonight. >> thank you, lawrence. coming up next, a live report from france on the search for the two suspects who are still at large.
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>> it's about four minutes away from 5:00 a.m. in france. a judicial official has confirmed that the two suspects are still at large in the deadly attack of the offices of the french weekly "charlie hebdo." french authorities released photos of the two brother, 32-year-old cherif kouachi and 34-year-old said kouachi, both born in paris, considered armed and dangerous. a third suspect, 18-year-old hamyd mourad surrendered to police earlier tonight. bill neely is life in paris. what do we know about the
suspect who surrendered to police? do we know where he surrendered and why he surrendereds? was he basically cornered at that point? >> we haven't got confirmation he was even named initially by police. but we know the man who turned himself into the police station is 18 years old. he turned himself up near the belgium border. and supposedly he turned himself in because he saw his name mentioned on soeshl media and decided to go to the police station. but none of that has been confirmed by police. what police have confirmed, and it's quite clear now, they are
looking for these two brothers. one of whom was convicted ten years ago of terrorist offenses, of trying to encourage a group of men to go to iraq to fight u.s. troops. and the other brother, we believe, who returned from syria in august of last year. paris tonight is a city in shock at the worst terrorist attack in 54 years here. it's a city fearful because these two men, the two gunmen pictured in the videos are still on the loose. people have fearful they might strike again. people are in solidarity. >> we're joined by a french correspondent. laura, what do you think the
reaction will be in france to what we now know to be the fact that both of these people being searched were born in paris. these are native born frenchmen? >> it's not going to be surprising for the french people because they know that it happened before, it happened a few years ago with a young kid who was raised in france, went to a synagogue, murdered kids. and people are expecting this kind of attack. in the past six months, politician people, reporters were describing how french people were preparing attack against journalists, jens jews, against differen symbol of democracy. so the french people are not surprised. the french people are shocked. the french people want to be now united. and the french people are going to look very closely at what's going to happen in the next hours. how the people are going to be arrested. what the french police is going to be. is there going to be a battle between the french police and the two guys. are they going to surrendered? are they going to fight against the cops. a lot of questions at this
moment. french is resilient and french people at this moment just want to show to the world how they are united in the fight against terrorists. >> bill neely in paris, thank you very much for joining me tonight. >> you're welcome. >> chris hayes now continues our live coverage. an attack in paris leaves 12 dead. gunmen open fire on the offices of charlie hebdo. tonight, as the french fill the streets in protest, the latest in paris on the hunt for the gunmen. why these cartoonists and this magazine were targeted again and again and what this attack means for free speech around the world. appeal in search of two